Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
In Limbo
Joined
·
9,460 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
OK, so for my third "How-to" I will try to my best to breakdown the steps of installing PRG's UCAs and their Heavy Duty 700lb Radflow Coil-over Shocks.

I did this install by myself so I was not able to take photos during some of the very intense parts that involved both of my hands and my brain. Also, some photos may appear out of order or "chronovisually" incorrect. I compiled the photos after both sides of the install.

Step 1: Jack Up your X and Remove the Wheels

Jack up the truck and get it on Jack Stands to support the weight and give you room to work. In an ideal world, having a real lift in a heated garage would be nice, but this is not always an ideal world. Now, take off both front tires and let the fun begin. It also helps to have a can PB Blaster and spray down ever nut and area you plan on removing or loosening. I do this about an hour before I start any job.


Step 2: Disconnect Sway Bar Mounts

Locate and remove the 2 Sway Bar Links on both sides of the Front Suspension. You need to loosen both sides so you can swing it out of the way.



OK, so now you can get started on removing the old suspension components. Start by loosening the UCA from the Spindle. First you want to remove the cotter pin that sits in the bolt going through the Spindle.


Step 3: Separate Spindle from UCA

Next, you'll want to support the Spindle and Hub with a Jack or something similar, because it will drop once you remove the UCA bolt from the Spindle.

I also like to use a strap to tie the Spindle off so it won't rotate downward.


Step 4: Remove OEM Shocks

Loosen and remove the bolt on the Lower Shock Mount that attaches it to the LCA (Lower Control Arm).


Once the bottom is loose then you get removed the 3 nuts holding the top of the Shock Strut to the Coil Bucket.


Now, I had tightened these nuts when I installed my Top Gun Spacers and they were on there pretty good so I had to upgrade from a Regular Ratchet to a Breaker Bar.

On side note, Mcampana thinks Breaker Bars are for "pussies," so proceed with caution. He (thinks) he is the strongest man in the world.



Here you can see the top of the Shock off.


Now, because I had the Spacers on top of the Shock, there was not enough room to get it out. I had to remove the Tie-rod to make enough room to get it out. As shown here.


Step 5: Install New Radflo Shocks

Install the new Radflo Shocks, bottom first.

Pay close attention to the order of the hardware on the Bottom Shock Mount. From left to right it should be, [Bolt End-Washer-Shock Mount-Spacer-Shock-Spacer-Shock Mount-Washer-Nut]


Next, attach the top 3 nuts and Torque to spec.


Step 6: Remove OEM UCAs

Now, it is time to remove the Stock UCA. On the driver's side you will have to use a hack saw or a reciprocating saw to cut the right UCA bolt out. The reason for this is because the bolt will hit the Steering Assembly and not have enough room to be pulled out. I used a SawzAll and it worked out just fine.

If you want, you can take the time to detach the Steering Assembly under the Boot. I have been told it can be done in 10 minutes, but I did not use this option.


Here we have a nicely removed UCA.


Step 7: Install New PRG UCAs (Upper Control Arms)

Install the new PRG UCA. The UCAs should be installed with the Bump Stop facing down and closest to the front of the vehicle. Start with the top two Mounts and then finish with the shiny new UniBall Mount that connects to the Spindle.


Pay close attention to the order that UniBall enters the Spindle.


The Final Result...


Step 8: Put Everything Back Together

Now reconnect the Sway Bars and put your tires back on. You should be done and have a fancy, and improved PRG Front Suspension.

I measured and I have a front height of 22" from the center of the Wheel Hub.

Before - 19.5"
After - 22"

Difference of 2.5"

I should still be able to adjust the Radflos up another half inch up front if I so desire, but I don't think I will.

Go get yourself an alignment and enjoy the results!
 

·
In Limbo
Joined
·
9,460 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You get can get a decent reciprocating saw at Home Depot or Lowes. I bought a 10 amp DeWALT at Home Depot for $100. And, make sure you get a metal blade.

Since I did this by myself it took longer than it would with 2 people. I think it took me about 4 hours. I also had air tools and a 30 gallon air compressor.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
750 Posts
Nice work. Ditto on the PB blaster or other lube an hour ahead of time to free up these bolts. It works great.

If you are low on tools and loathe to buy tons more, a set of box end ratchets is worth it and really helps to speed this job along nicely..14 mm and 19 mm being the most important two.

You can use a hacksaw for the UCA bolt and it would work fine. Just way more fun with a Sawzall.
 

·
In Limbo
Joined
·
9,460 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I did not do the UCA first. My photos were taken from both the passenger and drivers side. As I said, I installed these components by myself and tried to take as many photos as I could. So, the photos may be out of visual order to the viewer.

There were a few tricks that are hard to describe that I utilized. One is that I unbolted the spindle twice to help with the Radlow first and then the UCA. But, the write up I provided should aid the 1st time installer very well.

In summation, I recommend the Radflow shocks before the UCAs.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,792 Posts
Very helpful well-done write up. I'll be referring to this soon when we put the SLR and Titan arms on my friend's X in the next couple weeks.

If you don't want to cut the UCA bolt you can always just remove the steering linkage, which is what's in the way. It's an easy job, just make sure you're careful to put the splined bolt (the one down by the rack) back in the same way it came out. 5-10 min, seriously. Less time than it takes to rent a cutting tool.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,792 Posts
My friend and I did some dumb stuff with wrenches in our hands today too.

At least we did some good work to balance out our stupidity, lol!
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
LOL,
I was able remove the stock bolt easily, just had to "gently" move the steering assembly over, ok ok, more like a really hard push, but it can be taken out without cutting it off, or removing the steering outta the way.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
360 Posts
TXterra37 said:
xEDGEx said:
bumping this for quick reference during tomorrow's install :)
Good luck, and remember - INSTALL RIGHT SIDE UP!!!
haha.. thanks man! Believe it or not but your "how NOT to" tutorial was just as helpful.. made us double check everything and identify potential hurdles :)

The install (front and rear) took about 5 hours, with an additional hour of test driving and shimming. I've got slight vibrations in the rear, but they seem to be becoming less apparent as the springs settle in a bit (unless that's just me being overly optimistic). There's a clunk up in my front driver's side now when I hit bumps.. still working on identifying the actual source of that noise. Alignment takes place tomorrow morning, so will see if Firestone has any input on the matter.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
429 Posts
Regarding Step 4: The washers go outside of the shock mount in the LCA, next to the head of the bolt and next to the nut.

I reviewed this before and after installing my RadFlos and that didn't seem right so I called PRG and they confirmed that the washers go in the typical location, not inside the shock mount. I got my Rads used so I don't know how it is described in the instructions.

Thanks for the write-up.
 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top